EVELETH, Minn. (AP) — The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board has voted to lend $4 million to PolyMet Mining Corp., which plans to develop a copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota.

The Mesabi Daily News reports the money will come from the Douglas J. Johnson Economic Protection Trust Fund and won’t be affected by a proposal to take $60 million from the fund to balance the state budget.

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The development agency approved a similar loan to PolyMet last December, but environmental groups sued to block it. They dropped the lawsuit last month after Gov. Mark Dayton signed legislation to streamline the environmental permitting process, which clarified the board’s authority to make the loan.

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The project still needs approval from other state agencies to proceed.

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